Founded in 2013 by Mike Machado, Carson Gross and Brett Owens, LeadDyno offers a suite of affiliate marketing, email and analytics tools to help online merchants and other businesses grow their affiliate programs.
The company grew in part thanks to its simplicity and versatility. LeadDyno integrates with services like Shopify, Wix, Bigcommerce, Stripe and PayPal, offering customers a wide variety of functionality from a single platform.
LeadDyno helped generate its clients more than $200 million in affiliate sales in 2021. Since 2014, the platform has tracked more than 90 million total referrals, Machado said.
The company was bootstrapped, and had two employees and six contractors at sale.
How three founders found a buyer for LeadDyno
The trio of co-founders — who met through the Sacramento entrepreneur community — also benefited from diverse skill sets and more than 60 years of collective technology experience. Machado and Gross both brought engineering skills, and Owens brought an eye for marketing technologies.
“The idea of it being a three-person startup was definitely intriguing to me,” Machado said in an interview with SureSwift Capital. “Most of the startups I’d worked on before were just two people. So, the fact that Carson and I were both developers, and having that second engineering mind on the product at the very early stages was something that was really interesting to me. That was a big part of what made me want to take the leap to join them.”
In addition to its team’s diverse skills, LeadDyno further fueled its growth through its influencer affiliate marketing programs, which help businesses find influencers and launch and track campaign performance. Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing whereby a person or organization uses their social influence to endorse a product or service. Spending on influencer marketing grew from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.7 billion in 2020, per Influencer Marketing Hub.
The sales process was “very straightforward,” Machado told They Got Acquired. SureSwift spent about two weeks evaluating the deal and three weeks of due diligence before the acquisition was officially closed, he said.
SureSwift is a venture capital firm that acquires SaaS businesses from independent founders with the intention of growing its portfolio businesses. The investment firm has at least 18 SaaS companies in its portfolio, including Storemapper, MeetEdgar and Feedback Panda.
To find a buyer, the LeadDyno team used the acquisition marketplace Microacquire. The marketplace has helped facilitate more than 300 acquisitions.
Since the deal closed, the LeadDyno founding team have departed the company and are now working on other projects.